Middleby To Acquire Jade Products
The Middleby Corp. has further expanded its range of foodservice equipment brands with the recent agreement to acquire Jade Products Co. from Maytag Corp.
Jade manufactures cooking equipment, including ranges, cooktops and ovens for commercial and residential use. The Brea, Calif., manufacturer posts $20 million in annual sales.
Middleby, Elgin, Ill, develops, manufactures, markets and services a broad line of equipment used for commercial food cooking, preparation and processing. The company's brands include Blodgett, CTX, Houno, MagiKitch'n, Middleby Marshall, Pitco Frialator, Southbend, Nu-Vu and Toastmaster.
Produce Safety Conference Scheduled In March
The National Restaurant Association and the NRA Educational Foundation are holding a farm-to-table produce safety conference March 29-30 at the Monterey Marriott Hotel, Monterey, Calif.
Open to the entire supply chain, the conference plans to educate attendees about the latest scientific developments in produce safety, legislative efforts to improve food safety, results of epidemiological investigations into recent outbreaks, lessons learned from other industries such as meat and poultry processing, and more.
Conference details, including schedule and registration form, are at http://www.restaurant.org/produceconference.
Hennessey Travelers' 50th Puts 50 Air Force Personnel In CIA
No more needling about chipped beef on toast at the base dining hall: U.S. Air Force foodservice personnel last month got a chance to study at the Culinary Institute of America. The Hennessey Travelers Association, working with the National Restaurant Association, gave 50 USAF foodservice men and women a trip to CIA's California Greystone campus for a week-long accelerated program.
The initiative is part of the Hennessey Travelers Association 50th anniversary celebration. The group presents its annual awards during the NRA Show in Chicago each May to honor outstanding USAF foodservice operations around the world.
In addition to culinary classes, the 50 select personnel attended two panel discussions with industry CEOs. NRA chairman Edward R. Tinsley III, president and CEO of Tinsley Hospitality Group LLC, Santa Fe, N.M., said he hopes programs like this encourage foodservice personnel in the armed forces to join the industry when their tours are over.
CFLs Get Big Push Here And Australia
Compact fluorescent light bulbs, CFLs for short, got two big boosts late last month. Australian Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced that his country will gradually phase out incandescent bulbs and switch to CFLs by 2010.
Australia, one of the notable holdouts along with the United States that haven't ratified the Kyoto Protocol, relies heavily on coal and imported oil to generate electricity. The country produces about 565 million tons of greenhouse gases a year, Turnbull said. CFLs will reduce that by hundreds of thousands of tons and reduce the country's lighting costs by two thirds. Turnbull said if the rest of the world followed Australia's lead, the amount of energy saved would be five times what Australia presently consumes.
In the United States, a consortium of groups and individuals recently launched an effort recently to promote the use of CFLs here. Called 18 Seconds, the group is pushing the benefits of CFLs and the dramatic effect the small action of changing a light bulb can have. The group estimates that if every home in America switched just one bulb to a CFL, the energy saved could power all the homes in Delaware and Vermont combined.
General Electric, which manufactures Energy Smart CFLs, is hedging its bets. The company founded on Thomas Edison's incandescent light bulb has invested $200 million in energy efficient lighting in the past four years, and said it has developed technology that will lead to high-efficiency incandescent bulbs within the next few years. Initial bulbs will be twice as efficient as today's incandescents, and later models are expected to be four times as efficient, or comparable to CFLs, the company said.
Last Charity Ride To NAFEM Gearing Up
Time flies when you're having fun, and it's time again for industry motorcycle enthusiasts to get ready for the biennial fundraising ride to The NAFEM Show, this year to be held Oct. 11-13 in Atlanta
This year's ride, as always, will be timed to accommodate industry executives who need to arrive in time for pre-show meetings. That means riders from all over the country will be departing their originating points to arrive in Atlanta Sun., Oct. 7, in time for association board and committee meetings that begin as early as the next day.
This ride will likely be the last of its kind, said Alexa Kinney, of R.W. Smith and Co., who has coordinated the event for the past several years. With the North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers moving its show to February in Orlando, Fla., starting in 2009, a cross-country charity ride will no longer be practical for snowbound riders in many parts of the country.
"It's the end of an era. So sad," Kinney said.
Kinney's hoping this year's event, again to benefit America's Second Harvest, can set a new record for participation as well as fund raising. It'll be October, she noted, and slightly cooler temperatures and autumn foliage will add to the scenic adventure.
Kinney and her father, event founder Bill Kinney, retired from Prince Castle, are considering at least one regional route that will take riders through the town of Deal's Gap, N.C., situated on the Tennessee border. The town has become world famous as a riders mecca for its location on winding U.S. Rt. 129, a road known as "The Dragon" for its serpentine sequence of 318 mountain curves in just 11 miles.
In the fundraiser's inaugural year, 1999, riders hit "The Road To Dallas" on their way to The NAFEM Show there, and in the process raised roughly $40,000. In subsequent years, the event topped $55,000, then $60,000 and eventually in '05 raised more than $80,000.
Early planning is underway for "The Road To Atlanta," Kinney said. To sign up or get more information, please email Kinney at firstname.lastname@example.org.